mat sahl hame;N jaano phirtaa hai falak barso;N
tab ;xaak ke parde se insaan nikalte hai;N

1) don't consider us simple/easy-- the sphere/sky revolves/wanders for years
2) then, from the veil/curtain of dust, humans emerge



sahl : 'Easy, simple; facile, soft'. (Platts p.707)


phirnaa : 'To turn, go round, revolve, whirl; to circulate; to turn back, to return; to walk, walk about, walk to and fro; to wander, rove, ramble, stroll'. (Platts p.286)

S. R. Faruqi:

It wouldn't be strange if Ghalib had obtained the difference between aadmii and insaan from Mir:


Mir has composed this theme a second time [{1071,5}]:

mat sahl hame;N samjho pahu;Nche the baham tab ham
barso;N ta))ii;N garduu;N ne jab ;xaak ko chhaanaa thaa

[don't consider us simple-- we arrived at ourselves then
when for years the wheel/sky had 'sifted through the dust']

In the present verse the theme of insaan is additional, and by implicitly calling himself an insaan he has placed himself on the level of humaneness/humanity. For the wheel/sky to 'sift through the dust' is fine, but the affinity of phirnaa with falak is very fine indeed.

For phirnaa there are three meanings: 'to revolve' and 'to make one's rounds' and 'to wander about'; all these three are appropriate. In this way, by means of only one word Mir showed off the wonder of 'meaning-creation'. This theme too is superb: that the sphere above us revolves and revolves, and its effect can be seen below: that from the veil of dust a human is manifest. Since a human is made of dust, 'veil of dust' is even more appropriate.

Fundamentally, in the verse 'mood' is operative. The aspect of meaning is also present. But at first the attention doesn't turn toward it. In the first line the insha'iyah structure of 'don't consider us simple/easy' is full of 'mood', and all the rest of the words of the verse are of the same rank. Mir's skill is that he places the equipment of meaning even in such verses as apparently wouldn't have the possibility of meaning.

[See also {502,3}; {1054,10}.]



If the humans, the humane and civilized members of our species, emerge 'from' the veil of dust, there are two ways in which this could happen. One is, as SRF notes, that they emerge 'from' the veiling cloud of dust because like all the children of Adam they are made of dust. On this reading, the 'us' refers to our whole species.

But anotherpossibility is that some people emerge 'from behind the veil of dust' because they are coming from the Unseen, the ;Gaib , or some other mystical realm. This reading would suggest that while many or most of mankind [aadmii , which definitely includes women] may simply be made of dust, at long intervale a special, highly evolved, 'humane' one emerges from a higher spiritual realm. The speaker positions himself as one of them, but the grammar of the second line makes it feel very probable that he is describing himself as part of a small, rare subgroup.